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Darwin's Pangenesis and Graft Hybridization.

Although there were many records of graft-induced variations in ancient China, it was Darwin who coined the term "graft hybridization", the formation of hybrids between distinct species or varieties, through plant grafting, without the intervention of the sexual organs. He described many cases of the so-called "graft hybrids", in which shoots produced from grafted plants exhibited a combination of characters of both rootstock and scion, and explained their formation by his Pangenesis. Michurin invented "mentor-grafting" and "preliminary vegetative approximation" methods, which greatly increased the production of graft hybrids, thus providing a solution to Darwin's puzzle. Over the past decides, the existence of graft hybrids has been extensively documented, and graft hybridization is considered to be a simple and efficient means of plant breeding, and would be especially significant in the improvement of fruit trees. Graft hybridization is now explained by horizontal gene transfer and DNA transformation. In addition, the long-distance transport of mRNA and small RNAs is also considered to be involved in the formation of graft hybrids.

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